Assessment 3, Evaluative Statement

Evaluative Statement

My evaluative statement will look back at three of my online journal entries that I believe have increased my knowledge and ability to understand web 2.0 tools in the information environment.

 

Examples of Web 2.0 working for libraries & info agencies

The reasons why libraries should be using social networking tools becomes evident when I compared three libraries that enhanced library service provision and resources using these tools.

By using social networks, libraries have a lot to gain when engaged in conversations with their users. For example libraries can give their users an awareness of resources they have previously been unable to provide and help minimise a belief that the library is of little relevance in a world of easy access to information (Schrier, 2011).

The social networking tools used in the three library services chosen in the journal activity use the tools in effective, original and experimental ways such as the UTS Library’s Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and Instagram accounts to promote resources, services and events and how they use it to create community and its use of QR codes for library instruction. The State Library of New South Wales also takes advantage of the tools and its role as the state’s primary research library by promoting itself and its resources with blogs, Instagram, Pinterest and history pin.

Libraries that are already taking advantage of social networking have reported the benefits of increased user participation, interaction and engagement that has led to increased return visits and utilisation of resources and better relations with users (Choi, 2012, p. 4, para. 5).

Social networking allows libraries to respond immediately to negative and positive feedback, and to constantly review its services and resources. The communication it provides allow the library to learn about its users’ needs (Burkhardt, 2009).

Libraries should be taking advantage of the tools available to market themselves and to connect with users to better serve their needs.

 

Identity, privacy, security and trust

A number of issues raised in this OLJ activity made me aware of how to deal with an online identity. Libraries and library professionals using and developing social networking tools for either themselves or the library need to take into account how their online identity can appear to users.

Understanding privacy issues either informational or expressive privacy, can become important when relating to how tools such as Facebook store information that can be reproduced easily.  If informational privacy is compromised with social networking tools so too does expressive privacy (Raynes-Goldie, 2010). These can affect what is left on Facebook walls, comments, boards on blogs and other social networking tools. The issue of how to define privacy in an online world is complex when so many people define it in different ways.

Social networking tools allow the library to engage with its users but being so libraries need to be careful in monitoring feedback and be able to identify and manage negative comments in an appropriate manner. The anonymity of the web can sometimes lead to users commenting in negative ways that would not normally happen if they were identifiable (Pearson, 2009, para. 30). Steps are able to be taken in a way to monitoring what is being said about the library online in the way of tracking tools (Davis, 2009). Tools such as Serph, Monitter and Google Alerts allow the library to find what is said about them online and through social media. These types of tools can be adapted to allow the library to help users that are searching for specific information or what their needs may be by using keywords through social media for example.

 

The challenge of finding authentic information in a socially networked world

In this OLJ activity I looked at the issue of finding information in the age of web 2.0. Determining authentic information from information less relevant can be difficult because of easy access to large amounts of information online and through social media. Information professionals need to be aware of how users are searching for and finding information.

The sharing of information is being transformed with emergence of web 2.0 tools allowing users to interact with information and create their own content. How information is established as credible is continually being changed through more collaborative approaches than traditional means (Leibiger, 2011, p. 189, para. 6). This large amount of information freely available online can benefit or detract from how users find and evaluate its relevance and quality (Wittenberg, 2007, para. 5). While Google and Wikipedia meet most users’ personal information needs (Leibiger,2011, p. 189, para. 2), the challenge for information professionals is to adapt to changes in how information is shared and acquired, particularly with a large number of people using social media in to meet their needs.

If information professionals are able to interact with users they are in a position to educate users on how to find and evaluate credible and reliable information for their needs.

There are many social networking tools available that have the benefits of user engagement and awareness, information professionals need to aware of issues such as planning, policies, privacy and reliability to ensure library services are delivered in the best way possible.

 

 

Reflective Statement

My interest and knowledge of social networking and web 2.0 tools have developed from when I began INF206 Social networking for information professionals. My original thoughts on social networking as building communities have been enforced with a deeper understanding of collaboration and participation. This unit has also made me aware of what is needed to make a successful transition to becoming a better informational professional using social networking as a professional tool.

Before undertaking this unit my main uses of social networking were Twitter and Instagram. I now have a deeper understanding of how social networking tools can be adapted for use as an information professional. Not only can libraries benefit from promoting services and resources through Twitter and Facebook but can use these tools for educational purposes along with other tools such as Blogs, Wikis, tagging and picture and video hosting sites.

When I joined the Social Media team at my current workplace it was originally in order to encourage engagement with users and to promote library services and resources. I have now gained a deeper understanding and knowledge in the area and have learnt of the need for developing a strategy and plan for all social media use in the library and putting policy into place that not only compliments the library’s current policies but is also adaptable enough to trial new technologies as they become available. The social media direction will be further enhanced by analysing how the library is used by its patrons and what social networking tools they are using (Gerts, 2013). This will help ensure the correct areas are targeted for greater user engagement.

Some useful social networking tools I have found an extra interest in and am exploring further are tagging and picture hosting sites. Both tools are used in a similar way that allows for the sharing of content in ways that can create community and is able to be used for promotion, education and as work tools that can allow content to be created by library users and staff (Gerts, 2013). I have gained a particular interest in Flickr, Pinterest, Delicious and Diigo and am exploring each one to see which tools suit me needs best.

By working through the modules and readings and also undertaking journal entries and activities, have reflected on what was presented and also tried new technologies I would not normally use. The variety of services social networking tools are used for can include sharing, networking, publishing, discussing, gaming, location and commerce (Cavassa, 2010, para. 8). All these tools when used correctly can enhance the experience of the library for researching, learning and fun.

While the wealth of information available online and through social media is enormous, libraries need to ensure that users have the ability to evaluate the credibility of information that is found. Libraries can also benefit from interacting with users by receiving instant feedback and being able to direct services and resources to fill users’ needs. Libraries are in a position to embrace social networking tools to offer services to users whenever or wherever they may be without being restricted into the physical library (Miller, 2005, para. 26). It is important to be able to adapt to users’ needs by listening, creating discussions with them and by being aware of, experimenting with and trialling emerging technologies and trends. The use of Web 2.0 technologies does not need to be constricted by in-house systems and can be achieved by trialling other technologies that exist outside the library environment. (Farkers, 2008, para. 8).

By using social networking tools myself I will be better informed and better equipped as an information professional to understand users’ needs. Learning through engagement will only aid my professional development (Gerts, 2013).  Networking plays an important part for my education and career development and my learning experience will be enhanced if I use carefully selected social networking tools to keep track of other peers and industry-related contacts through a culture of collaboration and community.

Overall I now look at social networking as a personal and professional tool that can help me connect and collaborate with people and that can be used as a tool for the library to use to connect with users. I now am able to understand the issues around privacy, access, copyright, information literacy and that developing strong strategies and policies is beneficial.

 

 

References

Burkhardt, A. (2009). Four reasons libraries should be on social media. Information Tyrannosaur. Retrieved from http://andyburkhardt.com/2009/08/25/four-reasons-libraries-should-be-on-social-media/

Cavassa, F. (2010). The social media landscape 2011. Retrieved from http://www.fredcavazza.net/2010/12/14/social-media-landscape-2011/

Choi, C. (2012). Is your library ready for a social media librarian. Retrieved from http://conferences.alia.org.au/alia2012/Papers/18_Crystall.Choi.pdf

Davis, L. (2009). 8 tools to track your footprints on the web. Readwrite. Retrieved from: http://readwrite.com/2009/02/01/8_tools_to_track_your_footprin

Farkers, M. (2008). The essence of Library 2.0? Retrieved from http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/

Gerts, C. (2013). Library 2.0 and participatory library services [INF206 Librarian 2.0]. Retrieved February 2, 2014 from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF206_201390_W_D/page/698e32a4-30d3-4788-0009-8150b56c24f9

Gerts, C. (2013). Making Web 2.0 work for your organisation [INF206 Module Developing a social networking marketing strategy]. Retrieved February 6, 2014 from Charles Sturt University website:  http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF206_201390_W_D/page/698e32a4-30d3-4788-0009-8150b56c24f9

Gerts, C. (2013). Web 2.0 technologies and social software [INF206 Module Photo and video hosting]. Retrieved February 2, 2014 from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF206_201390_W_D/page/698e32a4-30d3-4788-0009-8150b56c24f9

Gerts, C. (2013). Web 2.0 technologies and social software [INF206 Module Tagging and QR codes]. Retrieved February 2, 2014 from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF206_201390_W_D/page/698e32a4-30d3-4788-0009-8150b56c24f9

Leibiger, C. A. (2011). Google reigns triumphant?: stemming the tide of Googlitis via collaborative, situated information literacy instruction. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian, 30(4), 187-222. doi: 10.1080/01639269.2011.628886

Miller, P. (2005). Web 2.0: Building the new library, Ariadne, 45. Retrieved from http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue45/miller

Pearson, J. (2009). Life as a dog :Personal identity and the internet. Meanjin, 68(2), 67-77. Retrieved from http://meanjin.com.au/editions/volume-68-number-2-2009/article/life-as-a-dog/

Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook, First Monday, 15(1), Retrieved from  http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2775/2432

Schrier, R. A. (2011). Digital librarianship & social media: the digital library as conversation facilitator, D-Lib Magazine, 17(7/8). Retrieved from http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july11/schrier/07schrier.html

Wittenberg, K. (2007). Credibility of content and the future of research, learning, and publishing in the digital environment. The Journal of Electronic Publishing, 10(1). Retrieved from http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;cc=jep;rgn=main;view=text;idno=3336451.0010.101

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The challenge of finding authentic information in a socially networked world

After reading three interesting articles related to information fluency in a socially connected world by Garfinkel, Lorenzo and Wittenberg, I have identified two messages I can take away with me to make myself a better information professional.

The first message from these articles is how the “net-generation” find information. The majority of students rely heavily on finding information from two main sources other than the library. These are internet searches primarily Google and from social networks.

Relying on Google for results when researching users are most likely to use the first few results that appear and a majority of times the first or second result is likely to be from Wikipedia. While using these results may be a good starting point in research it is important as an information professional to understand the importance of communicating to users that these sources may not be entirely accurate and that cross checking of facts is needed from other more reliable sources. Information professionals need to be able to explain how to verify the legitimacy of information to users in order for them to understand the difference between quality information that has been sourced from reliable sources and information that is not from a reliable source.

The second message I have taken away is that being an information professional I need to adapt to changes in society and culture.

Today’s generation are much more connected through social networking and being engaged with users is much more important. Social networking and Web 2.0 has made people more connected and users expect information professionals to be the same. The “net-generation” are able to multi-task, can easily adapt to change, are willing to take risks while learning instead of carefully finding information, communicating in less traditional methods and are more visual based learners.

Information professionals can no longer expect users to come to them for information, we need to engage with our users more and continue to adapt both ourselves and library systems to changing trends and intuitive design.

Garfinkel, S. (2008). Wikipedia and the meaning of truth. Technology Review, 111(6), 84-86. Retrieved from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=35342513&site=ehost-live 

Lorenzo, G. (2007). Catalysts for change: Information fluency, Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and the new education culture. Retrieved from http://www.edpath.com/images/IFReport2.pdf 

Wittenberg, K. (2007). Credibility of content and the future of research, learning, and publishing in the digital environment. The Journal of Electoronic Publishing, 10(1). Retrieved from: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;cc=jep;rgn=main;view=text;idno=3336451.0010.101

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Geolocation 101

In my previous post I talked about geolocation features in cameras and phones. Here is a great link I found that explains geolocation and some Web 2.0 tools that take advantage and use geolocation as a feature.

http://www.techhive.com/article/192803/geolo.html

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Identity, privacy, security and trust

After reading three articles on identity, privacy and trust in the online world, my eyes were certainly opened to sharing information and could see both the pros and cons to online identity and privacy.

Careful management of your online identity is of the utmost importance. Online profiles whether through Facebook, Twitter, blogs or even comments that are made on websites can be retained and found for an indefinite period. Even surfing websites anonymously does not protect us from being tracked.

Uploading photos onto social networking sites is not without its dangers too as photos can be traced to where they were taken and also where they were uploaded. Users must be aware of this and be careful what or who they tag in their photos and be aware of the geolocation function on their phones and cameras.

While having an open online identity has many benefits not only to yourself but to the online community. Although Facebook may have taken the openness of its original design a little too far, the transparent nature of online interactions can actually make people think about what they are posting and lead to more meaningful discussion without the so called trolling of anonymous accounts that can happen when people know that their identities cannot be revealed. Perhaps one of the most beneficial social networking tools if used in a responsible manner would be LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives the ability to present oneself in a professional manner that allows users to connect professionally and can even lead toward advancing careers.

It is important to remember that all online companies whether social networking sites, email or search engines are, after all advertising companies after revenue and can track your every move and interest in order to profit from you. A simple internet search or even the subject lines for emails are enough for these companies to target advertising to you and to know about your online activities.

The old adage of not posting anything online you wouldn’t say to your grandmother is a wise one. By being aware of how easy it is for third parties to track our moves and to find what we may have posted online will ensure that we remain responsible online citizens.

Davis, L. (2009). 8 tools to track your footprints on the web. Readwrite. Retrieved from: http://readwrite.com/2009/02/01/8_tools_to_track_your_footprin

Pearson, J. (2009). Life as a dog: Personal identity and the internet. Meanjin, 68(2), 67-77. Retrieved from: http://search.informit.com.au/fullText;dn=200906244;res=APAFT

Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: understanding privacy in the age of Facebook. First Monday, 15(1). Retrieved from: http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2775/2432

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Did you know 4.0

Fundamental shifts and trends I have found and will discuss here deal with the shift from traditional media; a change in advertising, promotion and marketing; how people find and interact with information; how people communicate; and the way computers are shrinking in size making mobile devices much more powerful and accessible than the traditional computer.

With the introduction of web 2.0 there has been a large change with how both organisations operate and how consumers or customers interact with business.

The shift from the traditional form of media of print including newspapers, magazines and publishing, radio and television is starting to be felt around the world. These media and publishing companies are finding that adjusting to the digital age has not been a comfortable ride. Revenues are down on traditional formats as advertisers move to online advertising. It is becoming a common occurrence for these traditional companies to close or consolidate and look for new ways of raising revenue online.

The way consumers find and interact with information (and entertainment) has changed greatly over the last ten years. Websites and social networking sites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and newspaper websites are now seen as the normal way of gaining information and entertainment. Users are wanting to interact with this new media by commenting and sharing what they enjoy and find interesting.

The adaption of mobile devices especially smart phones is making communication much easier. Mobile devices have changed the way we communicate and access information. The size, power and price of mobile devices are making it easier than ever before to communicate and connect with each other.

Organisations need to create social networking policies if they haven’t already in order to embrace these new technologies and cultural shifts. The way organisations go about their daily operations is changing and the introduction of web 2.0 technology can no longer be taken for granted or seen as just a trend. Users and customers expect the organisations they are dealing with to listen to their needs and be able to adapt quickly to new technologies and trends.

Considering that the majority of communication, business and marketing are conducted digitally and online, having a policy to control and manage this is necessary just as no organisation is able to survive without having procedures, policies and a mission statement.

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Making Web 2.0 work for your organisation

By applying the ideas presented in the module “Making Web 2.0 work for your organisation” to develop a social network strategy for an academic library, a marketing strategy can be used to create a social network plan. Instead of looking at what the plan is I will look at what is needed to draft a strategy in order to convince library management that the library needs social media to create interest in the library.

It is important to have a clearly written guide with clearly defined goals for a set period of times such as weeks or months. The guide would set out what the library is trying to achieve, such as engaging with its users, promote resources and be able to market library.

When creating the marketing strategy through social media the library will need to look at staff resources such as how many staff members will be required, how many hours will each staff member need to spend on social media for it to become effective and what will the focus for the library? Will it primarily be used to market the library to increase users or will it be aimed at existing users to market resources and services the library provides?

It is important to do research on what technology users and potential users are familiar with and using. It will be disadvantageous to concentrate on technologies that are not used by the majority of users. Each academic library has different users with different needs so profiling the users of the library is an important step to ensure that the technology chosen will be used, appreciated and will enhance library services. Another point to take into consideration is not to merely copy what the competition or other libraries are doing but to come up with a plan that will work for this particular libraries users.

The aim of the drafting a marketing strategy will be to convince management that it is needed. Social networking is no longer a new phenomenon and all indications show that it is here for the long term. With the amount of information available with web 2.0 and the competition it has created in accessing information if the library is not using social networking technologies it is already late in adapting to these technologies.

Bernoff, J. (2012). The global social takeover. Empowered. Retrieved from http://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/2012/01/the-global-social-takeover.html

Bernoff, J. & Li, C. (2010). Social technographics: conversationalists get onto the ladder. Empowered. Retrieved from http://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/2010/01/conversationalists-get-onto-the-ladder.html

Brown, A. (2009). Developing an effective social media marketing strategy. Salt Lake City Social Media Examiner. Retrieved from http://www.examiner.com/article/developing-an-effective-social-media-marketing-strategy

 


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Examples of Web 2.0 working for libraries & info agencies

I have chosen and compared three different types of libraries from Sydney, an academic library (University of Technology, Sydney), a public library (Sydney City Libraries) and a state research library (State Library of New South Wales) to help illustrate why all libraries should be using social networking tools to reach out to their users.

By comparing these three libraries I have been able to find both strengths and weaknesses in their use of social networking. The University of Technology and The State Library of NSW both use social networking tools in a positive and engaging way while Sydney City Council Libraries do not appear to use social networking tools independent from its parent organisation The Sydney City Council.

By using tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+, libraries are able to engage and create community with their users, market their collections, resources and facilities, update users with any service interruptions or change to opening times, receive feedback and even use these tools for reference and general questions.

Tools such as Instagram, Pinterest and Flicker can be used to promote and highlight the collection, facilities and little known areas of the library.

Video tools like Youtube and Vimeo can be used as tutorials for library instruction and how to access resources and databases.

QR Codes help users access library instruction on anything from Self-service machines, printers and even catalogue and database searching without the need of using a computer.

While Blogs and RSS feeds can be used to keep users up to date with the collection or new resources.

After exploring the different tools used by these three libraries I am even more convinced that libraries must adopt social networking tools in order to serve their users in a more effective and innovative way and to help ensure their survival into the future.

Comparison Chart of Web 2.0 tools used at UTS Library, Sydney City Libraries and State Library of NSW.

State Library of New South Wales

Sydney City Libraries

University of Technology Sydney Library

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